THE TALE OF OUR TRAILS #3: SMALL MOVEMENTS MOVE BIG ROCKS
By Patt Drawe
If you and I would’ve had a conversation about the current state of our Front Range trails a year ago, you’d have heard me express the same sentiments heard over and over on our local forums: trail sanitation, why can’t we have bike only, downhill only, need more tech in our trails….same stuff, different rider.
"They had all put in their blood, sweat, and tears to make our trails better."
There was something different though this past year. I joined the Friends of Apex group and at last saw all of the things Al Head and his crew of merry men and women were doing at Apex, then at Chimney, and North Table. My mind started to shift. While I had every intention of getting out there and joining them in their efforts, I didn’t. I read all of the emails, saw what was going on, but still sat back and did nothing other than voice the same complaints so many of us riders share. You see, I chose to do nothing therefore got nothing in return. I lived the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting things to change. But they were changing, just not because of anything I was doing.
"It changed how I see the big picture of what’s in store for the future of mountain biking on the front range. "
Enter the Giddyup event in Golden. An anomaly in its own right on the front range. A festival celebrating bikes! A race format that was unique AND took place on the very trails I’ve spent almost 2 decades riding. Once I decided to enter the event as my way of showing support, I immediately felt the draw to helping on the trail crew to prep the courses for the race. I joined Al and a large group of the Friends of Apex trail crew and saw first hand what was going on. I immediately felt the commraderie that tied these riders bonds to the trails. They had all put in their blood, sweat, and tears to make our trails better. Even more appealing was that the group of people putting in these monstrous efforts were very strong riders! Very accomplished mountain bikers! It was a group of like minded riders that wanted the very same things for our trails that you and I wanted. There was one glaring difference; they got it! They understood the charge that needed to take place to make our trails better. They totally got the paths that needed to be traveled to make our trails great for mountain bikes, but also work for everyone. Yes, they all shared the “we want bike only trails” mindset, but they understood that sitting back and doing nothing wasn’t going to get us there. All of the bitching in the world wasn’t going to magically make any Land Manager decide to just give us what we want.
It was at that point where I made my personal decision to flip the switch. It was speak now with my positive actions or forever hold my peace. A few months went by after the Giddyup event and then I caught wind of the new trail on Dakota. That was it, that was my chance to make a difference. I could go out there and control what I could control and put in my own efforts to make a difference. That very first trail day on South Dakota changed things for me. It changed my perspective on what is really being done out there for mountain bikers. It changed how I see the big picture of what’s in store for the future of mountain biking on the front range. There’s so much more going on behind the scenes that the general public has no idea about. So many great new opportunities, so many people fighting the good fight, so many great relationships being built between mountain bikers and land managers……it was very humbling to me to think that just this time last year, I was sitting back and not doing a single thing to change the very same complaints that I shared with so many others.
There’s a saying that the great Tyson Swasey and Joey Klein taught me: “Small movements move big rocks”. Of course they were trying to save my back… but it is a theory that makes sense in what we all want to see accomplished. To get where we want to go, it takes many small movements to move the biggest of rocks!
Change your own perspective if you can. Challenge yourself to get more involved. Everything you do counts. We have the greatest community out there and some of the coolest people and best of friends. Pitch in and help how you can and see for yourself how together, we can move those big rocks!
Get involved in the Giddyup Trail days, team up with COMBA, hell join COMBA if you haven’t yet! Partner with your favorite shop and get out there and get dirty. It’ll change the way you see things and you’ll see first hand that great things are happening for mountain bikers on the Front Range. See you on the trails!!